Regress, progress, all of that. For the time being, the interview transcript which was awaited.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice Interviewed by Jim Lehrer
Q The President’s defense of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice today came at a critical time. A week ago, her chief deputy, Stephen Hadley, acknowledged he had been warned by the CIA in two separate memos that the Agency would not stand by information suggesting Iraq was trying to buy uranium in Africa to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program. That claim made it into the President’s State of the Union speech, and CIA Director George Tenet took the blame.
But with Hadley’s admission, new questions emerged. If he knew about the error in advance, who else did? Was it overlooked simply because the administration was anxious to bolster the case for war?
Here to answer these, and other, questions, is National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. Welcome, Dr. Rice.
DR. RICE: Thank you, nice to be with you.
Q So the first question becomes the ones I just posed. Did you know, or should you have known that the information that went into the President’s State of the Union speech regarding the purchase, or the efforts to purchase uranium in Niger, or from Africa, another country in Africa — did you know that that information was not correct?
DR. RICE: When the line was put into the President’s State of the Union address and cleared by the Central Intelligence Agency, when I read the line, I thought it was completely credible and that, in fact, it was backed by the Agency.
What happened here is that we’re really talking about two different processes. The State of the Union was put together, the speech went out for clearance. But the speech that the President had given in Cincinnati in October had also been sent out for clearance and —
Q That’s the speech where he made the case for war?